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Padmanabhan Ananth


Airport Artist


Late one balmy summer night
Had few hours for a transit flight
In the lounge of the enormous Changi
To fly over to the land of River Yangtze

Unsure if I could risk a quick snooze
But worried if that'd turn into flight-loss
I loitered on long carpeted walkways
To pass time even avoiding walkalators

Quite inviting were the wares at duty-free
But recalled they were not bit 'profit-free'!
And my mental currency converter
Warned those prices would be plunder

Shuffling feet, flipping just-ageing newspapers
That adamant time just didn't pass
The array of cosy cushioned lounge chairs
Were enticing but certain disasters

Then ambled past an Oriental art store
Dragging along my baggage stroller
Saw there that elderly Chinese painter
At work and chatter with his shop owner

His Shui-mo water colour on canvas
Swift and deft brushstrokes did amaze
A pack of Hazel Grouse on a bamboo bush
Life sprang out of the veteran's brush!

Whole while chatting merrily in Cantonese
Laughing and taking digs at his genial boss
But none the chatter hurt the masterpiece
Another one for mount and sale with ease

In that aged master that tired late night
I saw everlasting skill and joy manifest
Could any other artisan, I stood wondering
Exhibit more joy in living, working, creating!

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2014
Edited: Saturday, January 04, 2014
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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Written on Nov.13,2013

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